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1850s Canadian Indigenous Jacket Turns up in UK Vintage Shop

A unique and rare Indigenous Canadian jacket, thought to be over 170 years old, has been found at a vintage clothing warehouse in the UK. The brown fringe jacket was located at the Glass Onion vintage warehouse in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, after being brought to Britain from America.

Experts believe that the jacket was crafted in the 1850s by someone from one of the Métis or Cree Indigenous nations in western Canada. Alice Leadbetter, the 27-year-old head of marketing at the store, was the first to lay eyes on the jacket and she was struck by its exceptional quality.

Alice said that the jacket was amongst hundreds of others that came in the bale, but it instantly stood out due to its soft leather, intricate beadwork, and attention to detail in the design. She added that the team at Glass Onion has been in the vintage clothing business for over 15 years and they have never seen a jacket quite like this one.

Alice is determined to uncover the jacket’s story and has put in many hours of research to determine its origin. She has received help from the TikTok community and experts all over the world and they believe that the jacket was likely made in Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or Alberta) by a Métis or Cree artist for a family member or a fur trader. She was also told that the olive green chain stitch on the pocket is a technique that was taught in schools in the Red River region in pre-1850s.

Glass Onion will not put the rare historical jacket on sale and instead wants to reunite it with its community. Alice said she is trying to do everything in the right and respectful way and would love to get confirmation of where the jacket is from and who made it. If anyone has any information about the jacket, they are encouraged to contact Glass Onion.

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